Pentax FA 77mm limited goes insane with Pentax K-x White

pentax fa 77mm f/1.8 limited, pentax k-x white, insane

I have recently forced myself to decide few lenses to go. My 70mm and 40mm limited are the ones to go. I am contemplating on 21mm as I like it for street shooting and people shot but I am tempted to try the crazy thing in Tamron 10-24. I wish someone have tried it on Pentax and tell me all about it. I don't trust reviews on test chart and soft this and sharp that. I like user real photo experience. It is not urgent as I love to keep my 21 as long as I can afford it. Having both the 15 and 21 is a blast for wide angle needs. And I have the funkiest liking on 10-17. So my wide angle needs are as complete as I think it is with 15, 21 and 10-17 for the fun factor. But you all know me in wanting to try out the unthinkable in Sigma 10-20 or Tamron 10-24 and swap with the 21. I know I am going backward with Justin.

Now on the 70/77 story. The 77 is insane every time that I use it. I shoot some shots wide open in many instances, it is still a reasonable shot. Fringing seems like a character that happen more in 77mm than the 70mm. But 77 is keen o sharpness and surreal color that make a picture pop over the 70. Its speed in f/1.8 allow me to go insane in indoor shots.

Here are few shots on a Goose feather. After a big crop, I can see the detail and I think it is really sharp. I hate Photography as an exact science like RH measurbation on image quality.

All shots taken with Pentax K-x and Pentax FA 77mm f/1.8 while the wind is blowing quite heavily on a clothing hanging line. Shame on some of the shots that are over exposed

#1 The set up
with cloths drying line and wood clips

pentax fa 77mm f/1.8 limited, pentax k-x white, insane
A big crop to see the goose feather
pentax fa 77mm f/1.8 limited, pentax k-x white, insane
#3 California Blue Sky
I shot up into sky and a crop.

And thanks to the wonderful color in 77mm limited with surreal quality not easily found in other lens.

pentax fa 77mm f/1.8 limited, pentax k-x white, insane

#4 B&W to cater the over-exposure

I like the grain on the wood clip as well as the 3D depth in the shot. Please excuse the over-exposure, my dear k-x is a crying baby with over-exposure. I actually use -1 Ev in some of the shots.
pentax fa 77mm f/1.8 limited, pentax k-x white, insane

And this cat shot that I have no time to frame the shot. As soon as I open the screen door, I get about two shots with one that look down at the cat and I kneel down next for the head shot and right after the shutter release, he turns and heads upstairs. It is a giant cat.

Again, I love the depth and the soft and very smooth off focus rendering, it helps to isolate the subject of focus greatly though I rush into the shot without much thinking.

#5 Opening screen door
pentax fa 77mm f/1.8 limited, pentax k-x white, insane1/40 sec, f/5.6, 77mm, iso 800, 0 Ev

pentax fa 77mm f/1.8 limited, pentax k-x white, insane1/60 sec, f/5.6, 77mm, iso 800, 0 Ev

Impressions & Notes
  • As I have noted before. Color and sharpness is outstanding in FA 77mm f/1.8 limited.

  • The fast speed in f/1.8 makes the 77mm limited all more of a great value when it comes to indoor and low light type of shooting. The bokeh in wide open is awesome but I do notice light falling off in wide open aperture. Care has be taken in using wide open aperture wisely.

  • The FA77 and DA 70 limited are not keen on close up. But the sharpness in both lens can help you as a macro lens in cropping huge. In the test shots with the white goose feather, I did a large crop close to 85% crop and it surely looks like a macro shot

  • Cyan color fringing are noticed in high contrast areas. It is unfortunate and some Pentax folks in community prefer the DA 70 limited because of the frequent fringing. I treat the fringing as a character in the lens as the color from FA 77mm offers surreal quality not matched up by the 70 limited. If fringing is a concern, go with 70 limited which also excels in sharpness and color and it has the quick shift focus that is absent in FA limited lens series.

  • I thought often about the field of view after crop factor that adds up to roughly 115mm. It is outstanding in half body portraits but one has to zoom with feed. In actual shooting with outdoor portraiture, I actually like my DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 due to the zoom flexibility. But in terms of prime quality, color and sharpness, and compactness, few can match up with the 77mm limited

  • Among the FA and DA limited, my favorite is the FA 77mm limited for its surreal color, great sharpness, and awesome speed in f/1.8 when I need to push and balance with ISO and hand-holding shutter in demanding situation



Unknown said...

you know Hin I was on a website the other day that was comparing Lieca and Zeiss and Pentax lenses. Sure leica and Zeiss are gereat but hands down the Pentax FA limiteds beat the Zeiss lenes according to the reviewer. So cool. Great shots and color. The 77 limited is one i really covet as most everyone else I lusting for a 85 1.4 but a 77 1.8 is better when on a cropped sensor its 115mm perfect for portraits headshots and everything else.

Ron said...

Hin, You talked about why you're selling the DA70, but why are you selling the DA40mm? I thought you liked using the 40mm as part of a small 3-lens travel kit, like 15/40/70, or 21/40/70, etc? Are you moving more towards zooms instead of primes?

Hin Man said...

@fRANK: thank you for your continued support of this blog. I really like my 77mm limited. In 85mm, the closest that I get is a Jupiter 85mm f/2.0 in M42 mount, it was a cult classic but wide open performance can't match the 77mm limited in my view. But if anyone on a low budget and love to explore old lenses, the Jupiter9 85mm f/2.0 in high on my list to recommend.

@Ron: things in my lineup are bound to change. The three lens trio is the best for compactness and the very best for traveling. If I can manage to justify keeping, I will keep all of my limited lens and nobody touch it unless I give in to my rational mind of having less than more. The trio in 21/40/70 are the first to go on my lens collection. I will be miserable without the pancake. But in return, I may get 43mm limited so that I have 15/35/43/77 instead. And when I do get the 43mm limited, my FA 50 has to go too. Ron, I am not saying anything less on the DA limited primes but it is just my personal priority to cut down and focus more on family, photography, learning and sharing in blogging, as well as listening to new insights and calling for a focus in life, work, and family.

Ron said...

I hear you brother... I hope to someday be able to switch around my lens lineup, once I have accumulated some and used them for a while. My first prime after the kit lenses (DA-L 18-55, 50-200) was the FA 50, and my next was the FA 35. I recently bought a sigma AF 24mm f/2.8 super-wide II that I absolutely love. When funds allow in the future, I hope to add a portrait lens like a 77 or 70...the pictures you posted in this blog entry makes me seriously consider the 77! Thanks, Hin.

steve said...

I need to stop reading blog posts like this one because I own the 21/40/70 combo. LOL.

Those 77mm shots look awesome. Every time I use my DA70 it amazes me as to how good it is. But you're killing me here.....

Great blog by the way!

Hin Man said...

@Steve, don't sweat for the 77mm limited, the 70mm does have its own unique charm and character. The quick shift focus, faster AF, great sharpness and with less fringing will put the 70mm having few pluses over the 77mm. If you are not big on DOF and fast speed as in f/1.8, the 70mm actually serve the great purpose for portraits and it is the best limited in the series in 21/40/70.

I don't mean to kill you with temptation but I can justify to say that what you have in the 70mm is very special and it is just that I find the 77mm color and faster speed more suiting to my needs.

steve said...

Well I've just ordered the FA31 as I've become frustrated with the 3.2 of the DA21. I love wide but I love fast, so how can I resist the 31.

If the 31 is good I will get the 77 and then decide what to do about the 70.

Do you still have the 77 with your recent Nikon adventures?

Hin Man said...

@Steve, thanks for dropping me a comment. I have been quiet but I have pretty much decided to stay put with Pentax instead of jumping to Nikon. I now have 15, 35, 43, 77 in the limited series. I was nuts to sell my 21 but I digress as I was thinking of funding the change to Nikon.

The 77mm is my most favorite FA limited. But the 70mm is also my favorite in the DA limited. With the K10D, the fast glass is more valuable. But with the K-5, the gap is narrowed a bit due to the high iso goodness. But with film gear, the FA always rules. Some people don't like 77 for the vivid color but I just love it. The 31 is similarly special in color but I sold it due to the high cost of ownership and it is too big for me to be nimble like the other limited lens. I prefer the DA 35 over the FA 31 for cost, use with macro, YMMV.

steve said...

Ha, I have a love/hate relationship with my 21. Slow, but so useful a focal length :/I wish it was as good IQ as my 70, but sadly not. I agree the 70 is probably the best of the DA ltds. Glad to hear you are sticking with Pentax, like you I considered a switch to Nikon but I'm too happy with my ltd's to ever leave completely.

Love your blog, thanks again :)

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